Conferences highlight undergraduate research

first_imgNotre Dame’s Center for Undergraduate Scholarly Engagement (CUSE) will accept abstracts until March 20th from students who wish to participate in the annual Undergraduate Scholars Conference (USC) and the College of Science Joint Annual Meeting (COS-JAM).The conferences, scheduled for May 1 in DeBartolo Hall, are open to students from Notre Dame, Holy Cross and Saint Mary’s. All undergraduates are invited to participate in research presentations, critical analyses and creative endeavors on topics ranging from engineering to humanities to business.Senior Dan Courtney, civil engineering major and two-time conference participant, said the conferences provide opportunities for undergraduate students to expand their experiences outside the classroom.“I feel like this event is a real strong point for Notre Dame as a whole,” Courtney said. “It is one of the reasons I decided to come here. Notre Dame puts substantial resources into its undergraduate education, and a lot of professors take on several undergrads.“At a lot of other schools, students are just watching for four years and taking it all in. Notre Dame offers the unique opportunity of allowing undergraduate students to jump in and start their research early.”According to the CUSE website, the conference is an chance to share research and hear both constructive feedback and insightful questions. Research allows students to use the critical skills they’ve developed in the classroom to ask new questions, make discoveries and contribute to global conversations that can have a real-world impact.“That’s what it really is – it’s sharing,” Courtney said. “Presenting at the conference will make your research stronger because you need to be able to clearly and simply communicate your ideas. It exposes your research to criticism, which will ultimately make it stronger. Most students who are really good at research aren’t always good at communicating that research — marketing it, if you will.”Junior Lily Kang, an information-technology management and sociology double-major, said the conferences help students take their research to the next level.“The conference created an intimate setting in which I felt comfortable holding discussions on my research topic with the audience as well as sharing my personal thoughts,” Kang said. “In addition, the conference was truly interdisciplinary, and it was enlightening for me to learn about my fellow students’ research projects across all different disciplines.”Courtney said he would encourage all students to stop by the conference to learn about students’ various research projects.“It’s so cool seeing your friends in that setting,” he said. “You know your friends in one environment, and then to go hear them talk about their research and be amazingly complex is … fascinating.”More information about the USC and COS-JAM can be found on the CUSE website at abstracts, COS-JAM, CUSE, Undergraduate Scholars Conferencelast_img read more

Beekeeping and tourism can go together

first_imgAn interesting story comes from the town of Łódđa, the third most populous city in Poland, where resourceful workers set up six hives with 60 diligent bees on the roof of a local hotel within the Hilton tourist hotel chain.In Poland, according to Polish media, the Lodz case is not isolated and there are bee communities in several other cities, and experts are convinced that honey produced by “urban” bees, despite concerns that car degradation could harm urban bees and their honey, may be healthier. from that which arose in nature, away from urban environments. Namely, city bees pollinate plants in parks and collect honey there, and parks are not treated with any chemical pesticides, unlike fields where bees live in nature. Hilton took advantage of the fact that across the hotel is a park with various and lush vegetation, trees and flowers because “their” bees do not only pollinate the flowers that adorn the hotel environment.Ingenious hoteliers from Lodz calculate that each bee community brings 30 kilograms of quality honey per season, which will be tasted exclusively by hotel guests, so imaginative chefs have already designed a menu that includes honey produced on their roof. They recommend other hotels and other institutions near the parks to follow their example and – they will not regret it.Here we witness an example of the synergy of beekeeping and tourism, and in the example from Vinkovci we also see how beekeeping and tourism can work together.A unique honey souvenir in the shape of Orion, the oldest calendar in EuropeVinkovci beekeeper Goran Ferbežar, who has been engaged in beekeeping for five years, made an attractive souvenir that represents Vinkovci in the most beautiful way, more precisely, the long and rich history of the oldest town in Europe. He made a faithful replica of the Orion vessel from beeswax with all the symbols that mark the constellations of the night sky above Vinkovci. He also designed an attractive box for a replica of Orion made of wax, which also contains a short instructive explanation of what Orion is and why it is exceptional as an archaeological artifact.”I was thinking of making an authentic Vinkovci wax souvenir, because I already have several wax products, and the shelves on which I exhibit honey and other bee products have city motifs and give off a Vinkovci flair. Orion came to my mind because otherwise I think that in making souvenirs we should use more motifs from the distant past and make replicas of objects found in archeological excavations in the area of ​​the city. I wanted to connect the pristine nature of bees because they fly in this area for millions of years and produce honey and wax in the same way and the vessel Orion, the oldest Indo-European calendar found in Vinkovci”, Says Goran Ferbežar.The Orion vessel in Vinkovci below today’s Hotel Slavonija was discovered by archaeologist Aleksandar Durman, and he understood the meaning of the symbol on it only 20 years later, and studying it revealed that it is the oldest calendar in Europe dating from 2600 BC.last_img read more

Abuse from fans exacted mental toll, says former top ref

first_img0Shares0000Former Super League official Ian Smith told AFP a culmination of many years of taking flak from fans and then leaving the Rugby Football League (RFL) after almost two decades meant he hit rock bottom in 2016 © AFP/File / PAUL ELLISWARRINGTON, United Kingdom, Jan 30 – For many fans the referee is a pantomime villain and fair game for abuse but former Super League official Ian Smith has spoken of the huge toll constant criticism had on his mental wellbeing.The 52-year-old told AFP a culmination of many years of taking flak from fans and then leaving the Rugby Football League (RFL) after almost two decades meant he hit rock bottom in 2016. But Smith turned the corner with the help of the Offload project, sharing his experiences with other men in an effort to improve mental health in the northwest of England — a role he says has given him a new identity.He says being a referee — despite having his two touch-judges alongside him — was a lonely role, although during a match he would not have the time to register the abuse.“Fans are just passionate and desperate for their team to win,” Smith says. “We are the pantomime baddy aren’t we?“They become blinkered when the decisions don’t go their way so that amount of negativity, and when people constantly tell you you are poor and some of the language can be choice it chips away at your mental wellbeing.”The frank and engaging Smith says his post-match assessments of his performances would affect weekends spent with his long-time girlfriend and sometimes he would not want to leave the house.“That stress becomes a little bit more, you become more anxious and six months into a season you realise emotionally and mentally you aren’t in a very good place.”Smith did not confide in his colleagues as he felt that would reveal a weakness and they might wish to benefit by taking a big game from him. He says the fans do not register there is a human being wearing the referee’s shirt.“A lot of people you have contact with afterwards and at social events say ‘my word that Ian Smith, he is actually a good bloke’.“The shirt is the facade and it is the shirt they are shouting at, not necessarily at the person behind it.“However, there is a person behind that facade and if he is not mentally strong and has fallible points it is hard for him to get over sometimes.”– ’10 feet tall’ –Smith says after he had cut ties with the RFL he felt he had lost his identity — it was not just a job but “a vocation, a love”, and he put on a brave face to his girlfriend and his daughter from a previous marriage.“I had no reason to get up in the morning,” he says. “It was my life and there was a void that I just couldn’t fill with any sort of other work.Former Rugby League referee Ian Smith leads an ‘Offload’ mental health session in the Warrington Wolves dressing room in Warrington on January 23, 2018 © AFP/File / PAUL ELLIS“I would have loads of masks so when she (his girlfriend) came home from work I had been an emotional wreck a lot of the day trying to find work I didn’t really want to do.“However, half an hour before she came back I would say ‘right, come on, put happy mask on, yeah, yeah everything is fine’ when it really wasn’t.”Their relationship has survived — when he hit a wall in July 2016 he came clean to both her and his daughter and his life changed for the better once he heard about the Offload project.Offload is a men’s mental fitness project involving a number of rugby league clubs — Salford Red Devils, Warrington Wolves and Widnes Vikings — and charity Rugby League Cares, delivered by former players and officials at the clubs’ stadiums.The content is devised by the State of Mind Sport charity.“I was advised ‘just tell your story — there are like-minded men on it who have all got their own back stories and some of which might resonate’,” says Smith.– ‘Bullying’ –“The trigger of emotional bullying and negativity — people in all walks of life and industries can feel that and when I told my story people would say ‘yeah that happened to me in the factory or workplace’.“Every time I tell my story and get feedback from the guys feels like my own therapy class, makes me feel 10 feet tall, gives me a reason to get out of bed in the morning.”Smith revelled in the role of facilitator at last week’s Offload fixture — which attracted around 50 attendees — mixing humour with emotion and acting as the catalyst for some lively discussion.“When I left the RFL my identity had gone. Now I have a new identity and I am a presenter for Offload and State of Mind,” he says.“I have so much more to give and I can’t wait to continue this journey.”0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more

Fire near popular walking trail in Cole Harbour NS contained

first_imgCOLE HARBOUR, N.S. – Officials say a large blaze that forced the evacuation of homes near a popular hiking trail in Cole Harbour, N.S., has been contained.Deputy fire Chief Roy Hollett said there were several flare-ups early Monday that came within roughly 400 metres of homes near the Salt Marsh Trail about a half hour outside Halifax.The fire, which was originally reported at about 4:15 p.m. Sunday, had become dormant overnight but sparked up again.Hollett said the fire came within about 100 metres of homes Sunday, prompting an initial evacuation.On Monday morning, between 10 and 20 homes in the area on Astral Drive were under a mandatory evacuation order that originally applied to roughly 85 homes, though it was lifted for most of them by about 9 p.m. Sunday.Those evacuees were allowed to return home by Monday afternoon, as the province’s Natural Resources Department announced the fire was 90 to 100 per cent contained.“We wouldn’t lift the evacuation unless we were comfortable nothing else was going to happen,” said Hollett.It’s estimated that the fire covered an area of about 20 hectares of forested land that was littered with brush from previous storms, making it harder to both access and to fight. Hollett said a lack of snow this winter also left little precipitation in the ground.Because the fire was deep inside the woods, crews had to haul hoses about three kilometres before being able to fight sections of the blaze.It wasn’t yet clear what may have started the fire, but Hollett said he was comfortable saying the cause was not weather-related.“The (statistics) show that the majority — 98 per cent of fires in this area — are human-caused, whereas out west, it’s a high percentage of lightning strikes,” said Hollett.Department of Natural Resources personnel were expected to be on site for several days.Environment Canada had issued a special air quality statement, saying residents downwind of the fire may experience smoke and elevated pollution.last_img read more